Everyone in River’s new town is obsessed with the mysterious Grace family, and River finds herself inevitably drawn to them, too; to their wealth, their beauty, and the rumours that they’re all witches. And when Summer Grace – the youngest of the three Grace siblings – one day invites River to take part in a strange ritual with her, River seizes her chance to become a part of their sphere… by any means necessary.
The parallels between The Graces and Twilight are uncanny, and not just in the way they’re described; the main characters all have their counterparts, and the book’s premise – a girl moving to a new town and becoming fascinated by a mysterious, potentially supernatural local family – is identical. The appeal of The Graces, however, was an implication that it was a book that was fully aware of just how creepy its character dynamics were, and was planning on taking them in a much darker direction. It didn’t disappoint.
The first half of the story was very slow, and I’ll admit that I struggled with it quite a bit. River was super-shallow and melodramatic, and the plot seemed to be taking itself far too seriously; there were hints of the creepiness that’d been promised, but they were slight enough that I felt like I’d been tricked into reading this book. I also found River kind of grating sometimes, and I didn’t have any particular affection for the other characters, either.
The second half, on the other hand, was fantastic, and I found that it almost completely made up for the slow start. The plot worked out almost exactly the way I was hoping it would, and its ending left me eager for more. Even River turned out to be kind of an interesting character after all! 😉 This was definitely not the most original story, but it put an unusual spin on a tale that’s familiar to most of my generation, and managed to feel fresh despite its Twilight-echoes. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open for the sequel.